Washington DC is a spectacular place to celebrate July 4th! The National Mall, with Washington DC’s monuments and the U.S. Capitol in the background, forms a beautiful and patriotic backdrop to America's Independence Day celebrations. This is an all-day event in the nation's capital, beginning with a parade along Constitution Avenue and ending with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument.
Following is a guide to all of the 4th of July events on the National Mall as well as alternative fireworks locations around the region in Maryland and Virginia.
The 4th of July celebrations in Washington, DC are among the most attended events of the year and many people arrive early to stake out a seat on the lawn. There are plenty of activities scheduled throughout the day to keep the whole family busy. If you are visiting from out of town, it is a good idea to make hotel reservations as early as possible. See a guide to Washington DC Hotels for advice on places to stay. If you would like to take a city tour, they get busy so you should book it in advance. See a guide to the Best Sightseeing Tours in Washington DC.
Getting to the National Mall
The best way to get to the National Mall is to take the Metro. Stations nearby include Smithsonian, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Judiciary Square, Federal Triangle and L'Enfant Plaza. The Smithsonian Station will be “entry-only” at the conclusion of the fireworks display. It typically takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to clear the Mall after the fireworks.
Public access to the National Mall begins at 10:00 a.m., with all visitors required to enter via a security checkpoint. Read more about getting to the National Mall, public transportation, parking, security and road closures.
Washington, DC’s Independence Day Parade
Parade Start Time: 11:45 a.m.
Parade Route: Constitution Avenue and 7th to 17th Sts.
See a map of the parade route
Washington, DC’s 4th of July Parade features marching bands, military and specialty units, floats, and VIP's. The parade draws a large crowd, so plan to arrive early to stake out a good viewing spot. Read more about the National Independence Day Parade
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The annual event includes daily and evening music and dance performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and discussions of cultural issues. The theme of the 2017 program will be Circus Arts and American Folk. The hours on the 4th of July are 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Read more about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
4th of July at the National Archives
The National Archives celebrates the 4th of July with special programming celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Visit the National Archives Building for this special birthday party from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The celebration includes patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration by historical reenactors and free family activities and entertainment by U.S. military bands. Seating on the Constitution Avenue steps is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Concert on the Washington Monument Grounds
Sylvan Theater. Downrange, the United States Army Band’s music ensemble, performs a variety of rock, pop, country, R & B, and patriotic music.
A Capitol Fourth Concert
Time: 8 - 9:30 p.m. (Admittance begins at 3 p.m.)
Location: West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
A 4th of July tradition in the nation's capital includes a live concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and several pop artists performing patriotic music on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. The concert and show is followed by a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument. The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary. The annual event will be broadcast live on WETA TV 26 with a repeat airing at 10:00 p.m. Read more and see photos of the performers for A Capitol Fourth.
4th of July Fireworks on the National Mall
Fireworks Time: At dark, usually around 9:15 p.m. Rain Date: July 5th
Launch Location: The fireworks are launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and light up the sky over the Washington Monument.
Best Places to View the National Mall Fireworks
- U.S. Capitol
- Lincoln Memorial
- Jefferson Memorial
- FDR Memorial
- East Potomac Park
- Rooftop Bars in Washington DC
- Rooftop of the W Hotel (tickets required)
- Anywhere along the National Mall between 14th Street and the Capitol
- Aboard a cruise along the Potomac River (advance tickets required)
Spectacular views of the fireworks can also be seen from the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, Virginia near the Rosslyn Metro station and areas along the Virginia side of the Potomac River that can be reached from George Washington Memorial Parkway. You may park at the Gravelly Point parking lot, which is about a quarter mile from the 14th Street Bridge. Another great place to watch the fireworks is from the Air Force Memorial on Columbia Pike. An all day festival will be held at Long Bridge Park in Arlington providing a prime location to view the National Mall fireworks.
See also, 4th of July Parades in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia
Planning to visit from out of town? See a complete Washington DC Travel Planning Guide with tips on the best time to visit, how long to stay, where to stay, what to do, how to get around the region and more.
Fourth of July Fireworks in Maryland 2017
Maryland has a variety of places to see fireworks for the 4th of July. Most events are family-friendly and include live entertainment. Events are held on July 4th unless otherwise noted.
Annapolis - Annapolis City Dock, Annapolis, Maryland. (410) 263-1183. Parade and fireworks: Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Parade Route: West Street, around Church Circle, down Main Street to the City Dock. Naval Academy's Concert Band will perform at the end of City Dock just prior to the fireworks.
Baltimore - The fireworks can be viewed from several locations in downtown and the surrounding areas, including Federal Hill, Fell’s Point and Harbor East. Live music begins at 7 p.m. at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, located at Pratt and Light streets. Fireworks at dusk.
Bowie - Prince George's Stadium, 4101 NE Crain Hwy, Bowie, Maryland. Fireworks display after the game. For additional information and tickets, call (301) 805-6000.
Boyds/Germantown - Germantown Soccerplex, 18041 Central Park Circle, Boyds, Maryland. (240) 777-6820. Patriotic concert at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Chesapeake Beach - July 1, 2016 at dusk. One of the largest fireworks displays on the Chesapeake Bay. Fireworks can be viewed from any spot along the water in Chesapeake Beach, North Beach and Breezy Point. Rain Date: July 3.
College Park - University of Maryland, College Park. Parking Lot 1, off Campus Drive near the University Boulevard/Adelphi Road entrance. (301) 864-8877. Food and music start at 7 p.m., with fireworks around 9 p.m. Update: Postponed to July 5th.
Columbia - Lake Kittamaquandi, 10221 Wincopin Circle Columbia, Maryland. (410) 740-4545. Music, children's entertainment begins at 5 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Frederick - Baker Park, Second and Bentz Streets, Frederick, Maryland. (301) 228-2844. A full day of activities, beginning at noon. Music on four stages, fireworks and much more.
Gaithersburg - Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm, Gaithersburg, Maryland. (301) 258-6350. Concert and activities will be held from 5-9 p.m.
Greenbelt - Buddy Attick Park, 555 Crescent Rd., Greenbelt, Maryland. (301) 397-2200. Entertainment begins at 4 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. Update: Fireworks postponed to July 5.
Kensington/Wheaton - Albert Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Road, Kensington, Maryland. Entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks show will begin approximately 9:15 p.m. Free shuttle bus service will pick up passengers beginning at 6:15 p.m. at Westfield Wheaton and the Wheaton Metro Station.
Laurel - July 1, 2017. Granville Gude Park, Laurel Lake, Laurel, Maryland. (301) 725-5300 ext. 44. Parade at 11 a.m. Fireworks at dusk.
Ocean City - Two Locations! N. Division Street (Inlet - 27th) and Northside Park at 125th St. Ocean City, MD. Celebrate Independence Day with a free concert, followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Poolesville - Poolesville Polo Grounds, 14660 Hughes Rd., Poolesville, Maryland. Live music begins at 6 p.m., Fireworks at 9 p.m. Parking is $5 per vehicle. (301) 972-8888.
Rockville - Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park, 1800 Piccard Drive (King Farm), Rockville, Maryland. Live entertainment begins at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Six Flags America - Mitchellville, Maryland. (301) 249-1500. The amusement park sponsors a spectacular fireworks display on July 4th. Enjoy a full day of family entertainment.
Solomons - Riverwalk, Solomons, Maryland. The waterfront community hosts an afternoon street fair and fireworks. Street Fair begins at 3 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Takoma Park - Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Takoma Park, Maryland. Parade at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Carroll and Ethan Allen Avenues. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Waldorf - Regency Furniture Stadium, 11765 St. Linus Dr., Waldorf, Maryland. "Taste of Charles County", live music, childrens activities and fireworks. Entertainment begins at 4:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Fourth of July Fireworks in Northern Virginia 2017
Virginia has a variety of places to see 4th of July fireworks. You can see spectacular views of the fireworks on the National Mall from the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, Virginia near the Rosslyn Metro station and areas along the Virginia side of the Potomac River that can be reached from George Washington Memorial Parkway. You may park at the Gravelly Point parking lot, which is about a quarter mile from the 14th Street Bridge. Another great place to watch the fireworks is from the Air Force Memorial on Columbia Pike. An all day festival will be held at Long Bridge Park in Arlington providing an ideal location to view the National Mall fireworks.
Here are some other places in Virginia to see 4th of July fireworks. Events are held on July 4th unless otherwise noted.
Alexandria - Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St., Alexandria, Virginia. Celebrate Alexandria’s Birthday & the USA’s on July 8, 2017, 7-10 p.m. Enjoy a concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra at 9 and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Fairfax - Fairfax City, Independence Day Parade through the downtown area beginning at 10 a.m. Musical entertainment begins at 7 p.m. at Fairfax High School with a spectacular fireworks display at dark. (703) 385-7858.
Falls Church - George Mason High School, 7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia. Live music will start at 7 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:20 p.m.
Herndon - Bready Park, Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave. Herndon, Virginia. (703) 787-7300. Face painting, balloon sculpturing, bingo and crafts begin at 6:30 p.m. Music at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
King's Dominion - 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, Virginia. Independence Day celebrations and fireworks.
Leesburg - Ida Lee Park, Rt. 15 (King Street) and Ida Lee Drive, Leesburg, Virginia. (703) 777-1368. Gates open at 6 p.m. Fireworks around 9:30 p.m.
Leesburg – Lansdowne Resort and Spa, 44050 Woodridge Parkway, Leesburg, VA. (703) 729-8400. Activities begin at 3:30 p.m. Live concert from 6 – 9:30 p.m. followed by fireworks at approximately 9:45 p.m. Food and drink vendors on-site. No outside coolers allowed.
Manassas - 9431 West Street, Manassas, Virginia. (703) 335-8872. Enjoy live music, children’s activities, food and fireworks. Entertainment begins at 4 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Middleburg - Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Virginia. The resort will celebrate the 4th of July with a whole hog BBQ, live music and family activities throughout the weekend. This is a ticketed event. The evening ends with a fireworks display where BBQ guests will enjoy preferred seating. Dinner Buffet; $89 per adult, $35 per child, 12 and younger; $20 for activity-only pass.
Mount Vernon Estate - George Washington Parkway, Mount Vernon, VA. (703)780-2000. The Estate will host evening fireworks on June 30 and July 1, 2017. Admission: $30 per adult, $20 per child. Daytime fireworks will also be displayed during the annual Independence Day event on July 4th.
Reston - Lake Fairfax Park, 1400 Lake Fairfax Dr., Reston, Virginia. (703) 471-5415. Fireworks begin around 9:15 p.m.
Vienna - Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street Southeast, Vienna, Virginia. Arts and crafts, food, live music, vendors, and games. Celebrations start at 11 a.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. at Southside Park on Ross Dr.
Williamsburg – At Colonial Williamsburg, enjoy live entertainment, a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, performances by the Fifes and Drums, an open-air performance by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and fireworks in a patriotic setting. Celebrations begin at 5 p.m. Fireworks at 9:20 p.m. Busch Gardens celebrates with a patriotic tribute. Park performances begin at 5:30 p.m. and culminate with the Tour de Force: Fireworks Finale at 9:30 p.m.
See also, Independence Day at Mount Vernon